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The Definitive Guide to Behave Like A Local in Spain

The Definitive Guide to Behave Like A Local in Spain

Old Sep 30th, 2015, 02:45 PM
  #21  
 
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The waiter at Álbora must have been in a bit of a quandary. Good service is the norm at Álbora, no tip expected, but it happens quite often for those unaware of local mores.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 03:01 PM
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For some people it is hard to " give up" THEIR way of doing things..
regardless of the local customs. My friend is one of those people..
Oh well, no harm done
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 03:06 PM
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pariswat,

hard to get ice in Italy but I see Italians pouring water into their wine all the time in summer. (I do it too). Okay with you? (Not that it matters. No one is stopping.)
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 03:10 PM
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Here is a picture of foie gras with Coca-Cola sauce taken at a restaurant in San Sebastian (the Basque country) in Spain. (If you look closely, you can see it is also wearing flip-flops)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationP...e_Country.html
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 03:10 PM
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I am sure that most Europeans who frequently come in contact with Americans are very familiar with our quirks, so drinking cola with a meal, asking for ice, and over-tipping are hardly noticed or, at least, not considered unusual behavior.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 03:36 PM
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You must have looked hard for this one. Casa Senta doesn't even make the top 100 in Donostia (on TA no less), so a little CC sauce shouldn't bother anyone who would do pintxos there.

In Navarra we drink rosados in the heat of the summer, saving the reds for evening pintxos and dinner.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 05:30 PM
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There is no way that tourists won;t be identified. American esp are obvious since our clothes and shoes are different - and we do tend to speak more loudly than lots of other people.

However, it is good to know how the locals will behave IN CASE some people want to try to pass.

My POV is that we dress normally - which doesn't include shorts or flip flops in any cities - and don;t expect local customs and dining hours to match ours at home (although I can't imagine anyone anywhere has dinner at 5 in the afternoon).

But I must admit that there are certain things I don't give on. I do carry a water bottle (but in my bag) and I do ask for ice whenever we order bottled water at meals (even if not usual most places we have been in Spain have tried to cooperate).
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 07:25 PM
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<the North Face shorts, white socks and white sneakers>

Shorts, people. Not gear, not jackets... shorts.

I like mikelg's list, personally. Of course you don't HAVE to adhere to his suggestions--they're suggestions, many of them informative and useful. And if you don't care about blending in, good for you. Some people do care about that, and would appreciate his tips.

"Blending in" means making an effort to be gracious in the country one is visiting. It does not mean you think no one will realize you're a tourist!

Honestly, people here get up on their hind legs about the darndest things.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 07:46 PM
  #29  
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Thank you, mikelg, for these tips and observations! And welcome back -- I had hoped that your silence signaled a successful busy season, and that's how I'm reading your message.

I am one of MANY Fodorites who have benefited tremendously from your input. And you were, indeed, one of the Fodorites who I found indispensable when planning my time in Spain last May. I filed a rather short trip report that you might want to look at some day when you have time -- you know how to find it!

Thanks so much, Mikel!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 07:48 PM
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Oops! Make that: eskerrik asko, Mikel!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 08:32 PM
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Shorts, people. Not gear, not jackets... shorts.
_____________________________
Yes, I am sure people take time from their lives to make such distinctions. Oh, the shorts are horrible they are North Face, but I love the jacket. Right.

No matter the country, your mien is different than a local, your eyeglasses, hair comb, upside down map and guide book, the way you look at things, your watch, walking in a business district in jeans and t-shirt or in groups, camera, backpack, etc. etc.

In certain cities you can even tell who comes from a suburb let alone a different country.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 08:53 PM
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I had wondered why chicken rarely shows up on a Spanish menu. This took a step at explaining that. Thanks,
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 09:26 PM
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Kja, in fact it´s been for a health issue, but almost fully recovered now, thanks! Well, I believe everyone has the right to dress the way he likes, to order any kind of food in a restaurant and to drink water with ice if he or she pleases. This post is not intended at them. It´s aimed at those kind hearted people that want to blend in with the country they are visiting, and send me emails asking what to wear, how to behave, what to order, how much tipping, how do you say "hello" in Basque, or what´s the correct way to have pintxos. They really want to "feel" they are getting "integrated" with the country. As impossible as it is, there´s no harm in providing them with some hints on the local ways...just that.

By the way, a last one...Sangría does not form part of the drinking culture of northern Spain. And flamenco is not part of our dancing culture.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 09:28 PM
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IMDonehere...shorts, in fact. NF jackets are widely used by Spaniards on the street, but not the shorts...
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 09:33 PM
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@ mikelg -- OMG! In that case, I am especially glad to welcome you back, and I extend my most sincere wishes for rapid progress toward full recovery!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 09:39 PM
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Tnanks kja...will read your report later!!!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 09:55 PM
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just left a comment on your thread...loved it!!!! What an incredible trip...
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 10:40 PM
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@ mikelg -- thanks so much! I was able to experience an incredible trip, in large part because of the advice you offered. More on my TR thread...

Get well, Mikel!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 10:49 PM
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<And flamenco is not part of our dancing culture.>

Of course not, Mikel, but funny you should post this on the day when the 8th edition of the nine day Bilbao flamenco festival starts ;-)
http://www.bilbaoflamenco.com/

The Bilbao performance tomorrow by Carmen Linares (Remembranzas), I'm seeing in the Oslo opera in exactly one month, looking very much forward to that. http://operaen.no/en/Performances/ca...usic-festival/
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 10:50 PM
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True, just heard it on the radio this morning...but definitely not part of the northern Spanish culture and it´s something quite alien to us.
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